The truth is (and it's been repeated all over when discussing these "hack YC" articles), there's only working strategy to get into YC : be good. It's not an end in itself ; building a business is.
This is my 3rd company, in my previous two actually dismissed the value of a strong network, mentorship and sitting in Silicon Valley.
Applying to YC in the earliest stages of this company is actually me not making the same mistake I did with my previous startup(raised $350K, busted asses for almost 2 years but failed).
As an entrepreneur, I believe that you can get known through more classic initiatives. It reminds me of a french deputy who used a hunger strike to defend his cause : noble end but terrible means.
And don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing, even though I might try to be contrary, I'm still listening to everything written here in the comments, and it will be a factor in future decisions.
Anyway, I agree it's not a classy move, much more classy would be to apply with an amazing demo, paying customers and a co-founder, but this is what I think will happen when I'll apply in the next batch.
The only decision I had to make was to myself: do I want to start y combinator without traction and co-founder - and I decided that I do.
Once I've reached that decision - I allocated a week for the whole effort and did whatever came to mind to get applied.
If I don't get accepted, I hope next round I'll come stronger - tractionwise.
I actually limited the whole YC application process to 1 week, before it and now I'm talking with multiple potential customers, building an MVP and even got 2 investment offers.
Truthfully, I'm not sure if it's stalking or not, and I'm not sure if it was a good move or not, but the risk/reward here was good enough.
For me being an entrepreneur is executing a lot of different ideas I get to reach my goals, knowing that most will fail, not letting it decrease my speed.
Btw, the whole thing was worth it even if I don't get to YC, as it got some people to reach out to me and helped me solve a problem I was currently working on - how to get american parents to be interviewed by me(problem interview).
Again, I appreciate your feedback and if this move fails, it might be because your thoughts are exactly what YC partners think about this - in that case it will be another lesson learned.